Mario Kart 64 Render
Image: Nintendo

Back in December 2021, a group of ROM hackers led by RM05 announced Project R, a ROM hack for Mario Kart 64 that aimed to recreate the early B-Roll build of the game shown at E3 1996.

This was a short video demo of the game that played across several screens at the industry event and featured a bunch of notable differences from the finished version. This included a changed title (Super Mario Kart R), alternative character portraits, different-coloured question blocks, and the inclusion of Kamek (a character that Donkey Kong eventually replaced in the finished version).

Progress on this fan project all seemed to be going well, with its Twitter account posting constant updates throughout 2022 (it even received a brand-new trailer for the modding showcase F3 Kaze in 2022). Then in May 2023, it was announced that the project was temporarily being put on hold while members of the team dealt "with other projects &/or real-life circumstances".

Now it seems the project is back on, with the Project R Twitter page tweeting the good news to its followers last Sunday (August 13th).

Super Mario Kart R isn't the only project of its kind, we should probably note. In the past, fans have also successfully recreated the Spaceworld '97 demo of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as well as an early prototype of Super Mario 64 from Spaceworld '95. These projects all aim to faithfully recreate old development builds of popular games, while giving players a new way to interact with them.

We'll obviously endeavour to try and keep you posted as Project R progresses and even more information becomes available!